Researchers at the university’s School of Biomedical Engineering have developed a way to create an artificial one that promises more natural taste and texture than other alternatives to traditional animal meat. This is covered in a study published in Cells Tissues Organs.
The method, which was coined by Ravi Selvaganapati and Alireza Shahin-Shamsabadi, is to fold thin sheets of cultured muscle and fat cells grown together in a laboratory. Tissue for human transplantation is also synthesized.
Sheets of living cells as thin as a sheet of printer paper are first grown in culture and then laid out on growth plates. The finished cell sheets are removed and stacked. The sheets are naturally connected to each other.
Layers can be folded into a single piece of any thickness, Selvaganapati says, and “tweaked” to specific characteristics, such as fat and marbling.
“Consumers will be able to buy meat with any percentage of fat, just like they buy milk,” says Selvaganapati.